There are myriad reasons for Americans to have animus for the media, and one will add that those same Americans should hold their political representatives in contempt for covering over a gross violation of the Constitution on a fairly regular basis. It is stunning that no matter how simple and straightforward the Founding Fathers and Constitution’s framers prohibited “establishing religion” by government fiat, there has been a very successful crusade to pass federal and state laws founded on some bizarre bastardized version of the Christian religion. Tomorrow, House Republicans are slated to pass “filibuster-proof” legislation founded on religion.
Now, it does not matter if it is the President of the United States, women’s reproductive rights advocates, or even religious Republicans’ favorite target, Planned Parenthood, they portray the religious attacks on women’s rights as “ideological.” Stealing from the poor and middle class to enrich the super wealthy and corporations is ideologically driven. Treating people of color like second-class citizens and gunning them down with impunity is founded on ideology. And thirsting for perpetual wars out of a lust for blood is ideologically driven. Passing legislation to control women’s sexuality and deny their constitutional right to choose their reproductive health is NOT ideologically driven; it is driven by religion.
Tomorrow, the religious Republicans in the House are expected to pass a bill that will use the reconciliation process with the Senate to, as a Catholic website steeped in mendacity wrote: “put a quick end to the Planned Parenthood abortion business that was caught red-handed, on video, selling dead babies and their body parts.” Apparently, it is not just religious Republicans that lie pathologically. The Catholics are still livid that after the House approved a Planned Parenthood “defunding measure” in the resolution to keep government open, the dirty Senate Democrats defeated the bill and went ahead and funded the government instead of shutting it or Planned Parenthood down.
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The new legislation House Republicans will pass on Friday defunds Planned Parenthood and some major parts of the Affordable Care Act just to show Americans they are serious caring evangelicals. Apparently, the legislation is only good for a year to give House Republicans more time to investigate and prosecute Planned Parenthood for “breaking and violating multiple laws by selling aborted babies and their body parts.”
One really wonders why Catholics, like evangelicals, never pick up their holy bible and take a look at, and contemplate, the ninth commandment that forbids lying. By now everyone and their brother comprehends that Planned Parenthood has not violated or broken any laws, or done anything Republicans prayed they could consider wrong.
That was the conclusion of Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-LDS) who fairly choked saying, “Was there any wrongdoing? I didn’t find any.” Since there is no wrongdoing on Planned Parenthood’s part, then this attack on the organization, like every attack on women’s rights, is purely driven by religion. Period. But no-one in the media or politics is prepared to cite religion as the driving force behind the Planned Parenthood attacks and it is why evangelicals and Catholics persevere with no end in sight.
The religious right has been on a crusade to destroy Planned Parenthood since Reagan’s first term when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) persuaded them to make abolishing contraception and abortion its cause célèbre to inspire Christians to elect more Republicans. This present attack, based on heavily-edited, and universally discredited, videos depicting Planned Parenthood as ripping fully-formed live babies apart and selling off the body parts is just the weapon du jour in the religious assault on women. The proof Republicans are pandering to the USCCB and evangelical fanatics is that three of the Republicans condemning Planned Parenthood’s practice of donating fetal tissue for research the loudest voted for the legislation that allows it to do so.
In 1993, the United States Congress passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act which allowed research on human fetal tissue regardless of whether or not the tissue came from a voluntary abortion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voted for that bill, and so did Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Fred Upton (R-MI). Now, all three of the cretins have joined the USCCB and extremist evangelicals in condemning the practice as patently illegal and plotting the demise of Planned Parenthood for adhering religiously to that law.
One of the inherent dangers in wild religious fervor, particularly for men in positions of power, is that their “deeply-held religious beliefs,” or pandering to religious fanatics, erased whatever pea-size section of their brain that stores memories. Despite voting explicitly to allow Planned Parenthood to donate tissue for medical research, now Smith’s evangelical sensibilities inform him the practice is abhorrent and a hateful crime.
Lamar Smith actually said out loud, and with religious conviction that,
“In addition to the fact that these practices are morally repulsive, they also happen to be illegal. I believe that life is precious, and no life is more vulnerable than that of an unborn child.”
Lamar needs to break out his Texas-sized copy of the old King James and look at precisely what his god’s utterance was in Genesis 2:7 where the deity plainly says there is no life, or living being, until the fetus exits the womb and breathes air. Scripture aside, Lamar Smith’s spokeswoman, Laura Crist, did exactly what everyone in the religious Republican cabal were born and trained to do; she lied through her teeth. Crist boldly stated that Representative Smith “has never voted in support of trafficking fetal body parts, which he has condemned as illegal.” No, the religious right and USCCB claim the practice is illegal or Lamar Smith would never have voted for the legislation in 1993, and donating is not remotely related to trafficking; but that is not the point.
Religious Republicans will dutifully vote to punish Planned Parenthood according to religion whether it is their fervent beliefs or their base’s. Their assault on Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with spending, ideology, the Constitution and certainly not according to any law…even any biblical law. While Republicans are at it, just for good measure as good Christians, they are also using the reconciliation process to defund major parts of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) because nothing says “life is precious” like a group of religious Republicans taking healthcare away from millions of Americans.
It is very likely that if the media, women’s advocates, and reasonable politicians began framing these Catholic-driven and Neo-Christian attacks on women’s healthcare rights and Planned Parenthood as Congress establishing and imposing an extremist religious bent on all Americans, the people would put a stop to it at the ballot box.
In the meantime, Americans who love the Constitution can take heart that, at least in this instance, when the religious Republican Congress uses the reconciliation process to pass religious-driven legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and parts of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama will veto it. He will dutifully say it is because the Republican law harms women, but if he would be candid he would admit that it is unconstitutional legislation establishing religion.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.
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